What did Trump really mean about the 2nd Amendment and Hillary nominees?

Althouse quoting Trump"Hillary wants to abolish -- essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know," Trump said.

Althouse, and many others, seem to think he was suggesting assassination. That's not just insane, it would be insane for a presidential candidate to suggest it, or even to joke about it. Trump may be insane enough (and filterless enough) to joke about it, but I doubt he's insane enough to really mean it. On the other hand, there are lots of other things he could have meant, many of which seem much more likely to me.

Let's note that we're in a hypothetical situation where Hillary won and is picking justices. The most commonly proposed alternative meaning, that gun rights voters can vote to keep Hillary out of the White House so she can't nominate anti-gun justices, seems a bit of a stretch under that hypothetical. If Hillary has already been elected, you can't stop her by voting until the next election cycle. The soonest that would be is two years after Hillary's election, and that would only effect the Senate. So it's not really likely Trump is talking about voting here.

But, the gun rights movement and the NRA have had dramatic success in blocking gun control legislation, and some success in blocking judicial nominees considered anti-gun. Right now, there is an empty Supreme Court seat that the Republican party (and the NRA in particular) are blocking nomination hearings for. This has been accomplished without intervening elections, simply by making their voices heard by their existing Senators. That is, right now, the gun rights movement and the right in general are successfully blocking an anti-gun Obama supreme court nominee.

It seems obvious to me that's exactly what Trump meant. No need to assume violence. If anyone can block Hillary's nominees and extract a concession from her, such as a Supreme Court nominee who at least claims to support the Heller decision and gun rights, it's "the 2nd Amendment folks" and the NRA. Hillary would hate it, and her nominee would likely lie about it, but no one else could possibly put up enough of a fight to get that kind of concession from Hillary.

And of course, it wouldn't hurt if the gun rights crowd got behind Trump and the cause of maintaining a Republican majority in the Senate. I'm not exactly enthused about Trump as a candidate, but the prospect of a Supreme Court filled with Hillary appointees is terrifying.

This entry was published Thu Aug 11 12:59:39 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2016-08-11 12:59:39.0. [Tweet]

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